Hec Edmundson Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge Replacement

View of the existing Hec Ed Bridge from the east, looking west. View of the existing Hec Ed Bridge from the east, looking west.

The Hec Edmundson Bridge is a pedestrian and bicycle only bridge that crosses Montlake Boulevard Northeast/SR 513, connecting to the west at the Burke-Gilman Trail (BGT) and to the east at the Clarence S. “Hec” Edmundson Pavilion (Hec Ed) and Intramural Activities Center (IMA).

Bridge standards and needs have changed considerably since the Hec Edmundson Bridge was designed more than 70 years ago. The current deteriorated condition of the bridge has prompted a partnership between the University of Washington, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to apply for a grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council (it’s called a TAP grant - Transportation Alternatives Program) to support a planning and schematic design effort to reconstruct and evaluate the potential relocation of the Bridge across this busy corridor.

The Hec Ed Bridge is identified as a component of both a desired west to east connection, between the University Community Urban Center (UCUC) in the west and recreation and natural area amenities in the east, and a north to south and east connection, between the full northern residential bicycle travel-shed along the Burke-Gilman Trail and current and future employment opportunities to south of the Montlake Bridge and east across SR-520. It is also identified as an opportunity for an enhanced pedestrian connection and, currently, is the only off-street bicycle route crossing along Montlake Boulevard Northeast/SR 513.

As we know from our study of the Burke-Gilman Trail, trail use is expected to increase 22% for pedestrians and 220% for bicyclists after University Link opens in 2016. With plans to expand and improve the Burke-Gilman Trail already in the works, it’s imperative that the Hec Ed Bridge sees replacements as well. Some of our project goals include the following:

  • Integrate the bridge into the regional pedestrian and bicycle trail network that serves 16,000 residents and a daily campus population of more than 65,000 in the UCUC, including commuters, commercial users, minority and low-income populations.
  • Enhance connections to regional amenities, natural resources, stadium and arena events, alternative transportation options and other destinations within the UCUC.
  • Meet ADA accessibility requirements and improve accessibility for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
  • Design a bridge archway and span that will accommodate oversized vehicles and trucks, thereby reducing collisions, delays and hazards for bridge users and vehicles traveling along Montlake Boulevard Northeast/SR 513.
  • Design for adequate pathways connecting to the bridge landings on either end with desire lines to destinations at connecting points.

    Piqued your interest? For more information, please look through our grant application

    View of the existing Hec Ed Bridge from the west, looking east. View of the existing Hec Ed Bridge from the east, looking west.